There is a saying that most people use when trying to make a point about certainty, “I know it (him/her) like the back of my hand.” I haven’t really spent too much time knowing the back of my hand to be honest. I, mean, if it was on a picture among other hands I would know mine (I think). I don’t know why we use this jargon. I also don’t know anyone that well. I don’t even know myself completely. Who does? Do you truly know yourself? Or, are you ever changing, evolving, transforming and moving in a way that surprises you? It sure surprises me.
I have said in many conversations that if “so and so happened to me I would react in such a manner.” Whenever the Universe has provided a similar event, as an opportunity to grow, I have reacted completely different. How I think and how I react are sometimes opposites. I can’t really say anything for certain. My life is forever changing. All the shifts push me to think diversely because asymmetrically things are defining everything I think I should become in order to be happy. It is truly ridiculous to entertain an idea and sit with it until it happens to you. I am learning not to attach myself to any clichés. I don’t know myself that well. The balance, the symmetry, and the idea of perfection is an illusion!
Life has a way of challenging our psyche. It pushes us to a breaking point. It causes us to see the world in a different manner to experience empathy with our spirit. Just when I think I know something about me that is certain there is a new lesson guiding me to expand my thoughts, reactions, and outcomes. I believe patience is born from these moments. We get the opportunity to expand our perceptions.
Yesterday I was going through the “catch all” junk drawer in my room. I found a picture of me with my kids when they were younger. My ex and I took them on a cruise in May of 2007. Everyone in the picture looks happy. If you look closely, even through my smile, there is a sadness that yells out, “I can’t do this charade any longer!” We are all standing in front of a field in Old San Juan. It is the perfect picture for a perfect vacation. I don’t even know why I had kept that particular picture on this drawer. I realized at that moment, while closely observing the faces, that my ex wasn’t happy at all. He was hiding secrets behind his smile. I was lamenting them and holding on to some belief that someone was going to pull me out of that relationship. Funny how, in knowing myself, I really had no clue. A picture captures the physical part of the world, but it also freezes a moment forever. Who truly knows themselves?
I stared at that picture for the longest time. I could see the exhaustion and tension inside of me. Five of our six children stood there posing for the hundredth time. They were hungry, hot, tired, and just wanted to run around. I wanted to sit and do nothing. My ex wanted to explore the jail and reminisce of Cuba. I was a different person then. If I think I don’t know myself well enough now, I know I knew nothing about that woman standing in the photograph.
If someone had shown me this picture about another family I am sure I would have commented on something esoteric. Like, “look at the way the woman’s eyes seem sad. Or, look at the detachment from the man. Or, those kids look nothing alike.” And then my humanness would have commented, “Why would anyone want such a big family? How does one travel with that many kids?” I would have judged the idea of what we think we know. The truth is we know nothing. We know even less when ego gets a hold of us in a moment of frenzy.
There is no originality to me that stays grounded forever. I am ever changing. Events, problems, experiences and people are constantly pushing the cycle of my evolution. Spiritually, physically and emotionally I am not the same person I was yesterday holding that picture, tracing each face with my index finger (that one that I truly don’t know very well). I know nothing of what it is to know certainty. There is no certainty. There is just this moment, this key stroke, this word, and this middle-aged woman opening her thoughts and heart to you. I search for the moment of enlightenment as Lao Tzu expresses, “He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.” Until that moment I am learning to move with the flow of life…have a blessed day!